cover art for Episode 55: Mauricio (Mau) Díaz

Running on Joy

Episode 55: Mauricio (Mau) Díaz

Joy is...Real.

Mauricio (Mau) Díaz is a runner and storyteller whose zeal for adventure and exploration is epitomised in his creation, along with co-founders,Manuel and Daniel, of Aire Libre, a Mexico City-based creative project that hosts immersive running experiences in exotic corners of the world. Rather than seeing running as a purely athletic pursuit, Aire Libre uses movement to explore unknown territories and foster deep transformations, with a strong focus on cultural immersion. By his own admission, running has given Mau some of the most valuable lessons of his life, and I was so grateful for the opportunity to delve deeper into what a life spent on the move means to him.

Mau is someone who balances incredible wisdom with a playful curiosity in the world and people around him. Indeed, early in our conversation he quotes Picasso saying that it took him: "a lifetime to paint like a child”. Mau, instead, suggests that his memoir might be titled "A Life Spent Pointing": pointing to the horizon and the places he wants to explore next. Just as Mau encourages everyone to take a moment to pause and appreciate the present moment, I hope spending time with his thoughts encourages you to also perhaps discover the world through joyful movement.

Follow: @maudac


More episodes

View all episodes

  • Episode 60: Matt Pycroft

    Service update: It's been a little while since the last episode due to life, work and other projects requiring energy. The podcast is a labour of love, and I am giving myself the grace that I would grant others to produce content in a way that is sustainable and uplifting for them. The things we love should be a pleasure, not a chore. I am so grateful to the podcast for the amazing connections, friendships and community that it has given me and so, as a thank you to listeners, here is a very special episode that I bring to you as a placeholder before releasing another mini series in the summer.Joy is...Tiny Little Moments.Matt Pycroft specialises in working in remote and hostile environments as a highly experienced filmmaker and photographer. Having begun his career creating short research-based films for the United Nations and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, he fell in love with life on the road and expedition filmmaking. He holds a few strings to his bow and is the host of The Adventure Podcast, an ongoing series of long-form conversations with pioneers of exploration and discovery. He is also Creative Director of Coldhouse, a content agency and platform for authentic storytelling. Coldhouse reflects Matt’s passion for seeking out untold stories and learning from working in extreme environments. No concept is too complex or location too remote.  It might be because we quickly discovered that our brains and emotions work in a similar manner, but there is very little in this conversation about what people might instinctively think of when they hear the word ‘adventure’: the mountains, the oceans, the bravado, the danger. Instead, what quickly becomes the heart of this conversation, is a much deeper and profound adventure: the adventure that comes from being truly vulnerable with ourselves, when we are broken open and have to find a way to put the pieces back together. We talk about masculinity and the difficulties of finding an emotional vocabulary in a society that conditions, men in particular, towards anger; the discomfort of stopping when our brains are wired for being constantly occupied; what success and betterment actually look like; how we can evolve and learn through celebrating and supporting others, and the power of human experience and connection. I am so grateful for Matt’s openness and trust in sharing his personal reflections, and I urge you to listen to him over on the Adventure Podcast for more insightful conversations, alongside some practical specialist episodes on planning your own adventures.Follow: @mattpycroft @coldhouse_
  • Episode 59: Lindsey Freeman

    Joy is...Feeling Known.Lindsey Freeman is a writer and sociologist interested in endurance, hapticality, atomic and nuclear cultures, and poetics. Her most recent book, Running, is about practice, love, queerness, and long-distance running, published by Duke University Press. Although described as a feminist and queer handbook of running, it’s a book for all runners.  It’s a book that celebrates the freedom and opportunity for self-discovery that running offers, whilst untangling identity, the body, failure, fact the whole spectrum of what it means to lace up our shoes. Lindsey is at once both an intensely astute social and cultural observer and an incredibly gentle and empathetic soul, who embodies and explores what feeling, physically and emotionally, as well as thinking about, the world around us might mean for us individually and collectively. Running is the pivot point, both for Lindsey's book and for this conversation, but this is really about how we can create spaces from a place of deep understanding of our thinking, breathing, feeling bodies that are welcoming for all people who think and breathe and feel. In other words. /
  • Episode 58: Christine Yu

    Joy is...Shared Humanity.Christine Yu is a New York-based, life-long athlete and award-winning journalist, who writes about sports, science and health. Her interest in the intersection between sports science and women athletes led her to her first book UP TO SPEED: The Groundbreaking Science of Women Athletes, which disentangles myth and gender bias from real science in order to address the huge research gap in supporting women athletes to excel at every stage of life. Ultimately, this is book that is not just a road map for women and girls but an examination of the systemic injustices in sports and science that affect all people in the hope of uncovering ways to make the system more equitable for everyone.  Running is so much more complex than simply lacing up your shoes; it is embedded within the cultural, political and social web that means that our bodies, particularly female and non-binary bodies, are never just, and should never be limited to, being 'one thing'. Over the course of this conversation, we unpick the assumptions and beliefs that have contributed to these limitations and explore how, by embracing the multi-faceted nature of identity in how we both conduct, interpret and act upon research, we might create spaces that feel equitable for all people.Christine is an incredibly informed and insightful person and there are so many 'a-ha' moments in this interview that I hope will speak to anyone who feels that they are being forced into a pre-existing jigsaw puzzle that doesn't fit their 
  • Episode 57: Stef Mcloughlin & Lewes FC

    Joy is...Watching Football (with a Dog).Stef Mcloughlin is the Commercial Manager for Lewes FC, a football club that is not only committed to gender equality but is really showcasing how, with the right approach, sport can be a catalyst for societal change. There are infinite creative ways that the 100% fan owned club is doing this, but perhaps the most remarkable achievement is that Lewes FC became the first team across the globe to both pay and resource the men’s and women’s teams equally. Since this move in 2017, attendance and sponsorship have surged, which is testimony to the power of commitment, passion and innovation in driving real change. Stef is a brilliant advocate for the meaningful work that Lewes FC is doing, not just on a local level but on the world stage, in terms of championing women's sport. Talking to her, it is soon clear how what Lewes is doing is not just about football but how we can live, work and play in a more connected, compassionate and equitable way in all aspects of our lives. Lewes is a team but it's also a community and one that more and more people, across the world, want to be a part of.Follow:
  • Episode 56: Alyssa Ages

    Joy is...Consistency.Running on Joy is back, after an extended break, to bring you a series focussing on women doing important work to uplift others, build communities, and connect and protect the world around them.We begin with Alyssa Ages, a Toronto-based, New York-born author, freelance writer, and copywriter. Alyssa is also a mother, strongman competitor, endurance athlete (including six marathons and an Ironman), rock climber and CrossFitter. Her first book, Secrets of Giants: A Journey to Uncovering the True Meaning of Strength, is a deep dive into the science and psychology of why pushing our physical limits is so impactful. Released in September of this year, it is a powerful book, which interweaves memoir, research and adventure into an odyssey that uncovers why physical strength is about so much more than what you can put on a barbell but rather teaches us that we’re capable of so much more than we know. Whilst we begin by delving into Alyssa’s incredible journey, from being very much movement-adverse as a child to testing her strength and endurance in some of the toughest competitions in the world, this conversation, like her book, is about much more than numbers or finishing medals. This is a conversation about learning to trust the body again through grief and physical and mental trauma and how strength is a perspective through which we can see ourselves and the world around us, in order to assert our right to take up space, use our voice and get ‘bulky’. Thank you for your ongoing support of the podcast. Running on Joy remains ad free but if you could show your support by rating and reviewing on Spotify and Apple Podcasts, it helps spread the messages and knowledge that my guests are sharing.Follow:
  • Episode 54: Patrick Stangbye

    Joy is...Inspiration.Patrick Stangbye might best be described as a visionary. He is a competitive ultra runner, creative director, and an advocate for a life of essentialism, of focussing on what really matters. It’s a concept that drives his running, life aesthetic and creative projects: moving is to living is to communication. In essence, Patrick's is an existence driven by perspective and enrichment, and it is this perspective that I was keen to explore in this conversation.We spoke about: Having a mountain sensibility; being fluid with our creative and athletic identities; running as a space for processing and presence; living slow and staying fast as a lens through which we can assess what is necessary in how we live and what we consume; the value of an aesthetic approach to functionality; how brands and running communities can work towards inclusivity and ecological accountability, and the power of curiosity.@patrickstangbye
  • Episode 53: Simone Salvatici

    Joy is...Omnipresence.Simone Salvatici is a London-based composer, multi-instrumentalist, sound artist, and qualified sound therapist. One might say that he is a person on a constantly evolving, shifting journey, grounded in a deep and authentic commitment to sound. As a composer of instrumental music, Simone has released both solo and collaborative projects and has performed at venues, including Tate Modern, Sadlers Wells Theatre, the Natural History Museum, and the V&A, as well as International festivals. As a Sound Therapist, he uses his musicianship and aural skills in conjunction with experience gained from intensive studies, research, and immersive learning over the last few years to promote energetic and emotional shifts, using a variety of instruments from large gongs to tuning forks to synthesisers. Simone also now passes on his learning through Sound Therapy practitioner training.Simone is an incredibly gentle soul who thinks deeply and speaks with great consideration and awareness of the resonance of the energy that we put into the world. It's a powerful conversation, which revolves around our relationship with healing: healing of the self as a pathway to healing others; attuning to the body as instrument and the power of communication beyond words, and the vital need for egoless play as a foundation for a more connected, intuitive
  • Episode 52: Jim Leary

    Joy is...An Afternoon Walk.Jim Leary is an archaeologist and Senior Lecturer at the University of York. They previously held posts at Reading University and English Heritage. Formerly also a Field Archaeologist in Residence at Cambridge University, he has directed major excavations across Britain, including Silbury Hill in Wiltshire, the largest Neolithic monument in Europe. A passionate walker, much of Jim's research centres around the way that people moved in the past, and his new book Footmarks was published earlier this summer. Footmarks takes us on a restless journey that traces 3.5 million years of human movement, in turn exploring the relationship between our ability to travel and power. From early hunter-gatherers, to drovers and pilgrims, to migration, Footmarks shows us how movement has shaped our world. Archaeology, through this lens, is far from static. Jim is generous with his incredible experience and knowledge, with a distinctively un-monumental approach to history and an empathetic enthusiasm for re-animating the distant past. Our conversation makes a case for taking time to consider the mythic architecture of the landscape that surrounds us and re-connecting with a collective identity, forged through movement and storytelling. We are all, and always have been travellers, and our footmarks are something to protect and fight for.Instagram: @jim_leary1Twitter: @Jim_Leary